Poor oxygen circulation
Low levels of oxygen can lead to the creation of Brown Algae and usually a result of overstocking your aquarium.
If your tank is experiencing low levels of oxygen, you can usually tell due to the spread of Brown Algae or by closely gauging the body language of your fish.
Your fish may show a few common symptoms:
- Restricted or decreased movement
- Less appetite
- Erratic or frantic breathing from gills
- Desperate breathing from the surface
While investigating these symptoms, remember that some fish are in their natural state while intermittently breathing from the surface.
Betta Fish, for example, are known for breathing at the surface. You should have a good idea of how your fish normally behave, before assessing them.
Your Brown Algae problem could be lighting related which is why it’s important to ensure that your aquarium has sufficient light levels.
One way to make sure the right balance of light reaches your aquarium is to purchase a light timer. That way, your tank is guaranteed to receive the perfect amount of light.
You will want to assess your aquarium in terms of overcrowding. Aquariums overcrowded with plants or fish, or a combination of both, are hot spots for the growth of Brown Algae.
Overcrowded tanks have a tendency to lead to an overabundance of fish-waste (excess nutrients), which can contribute also to the development of Brown Algae.
Both food and waste can accumulate quickly, leading to harmful bacteria which in turn may create Brown Algae or this waste will lead to ammonia, which is very toxic to your fish.
An aquarium that is regularly cleaned will at least curb the rapid growth of Brown Algae if, in fact, it does exist.
An imbalance of nitrates and silicates
My Favorite Filter
AquaClear HOB Filter
The AquaClear HOB filter has been around FOREVER and is typically the first filter recommended for most beginners. That said, it's a great reliable filter for experienced fish keepers and Aquascapers. It comes with prepackaged filter media but also has the ability to customize to your needs. Don't worry about water flow as the gentle waterfall design creates oxygenation without a strong current perfect for small tanks and Bettas.
High amounts of nitrates and silicates can also contribute to the growth of Brown Algae. Make sure that the water used to fill your tank is not teeming with silicic acid.
Nitrates, on the other hand, are frequently found in aquariums as they are a byproduct of the nitrogen cycle.
Nitrates need to be removed from your tank through regular water changes.